Delaware County History

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Map from Browning, 2008.[1]

As payment for military service in the American Revolution, lands in the west were given to soldiers. Of those lands included portions of Ohio. This is what brought some of the early settlers to the county.[2] The name Delaware comes from the Native American tribe of the same name who once lived in the region.[3] The first settlers came from New York and were Nathan Carpenter and Avery Powers who arrived in May 1801.[3] On 10 Feb 1808, land was taken from Franklin County and was formed into Delaware County.[3]

The first section of land in Delaware Township was purchased by Abraham Baldwin. It was for 8,000 acres and was signed by President John Adams on 24 December 1800.[2] However, upon Abraham’s death the land was split between his half-siblings. One of which was Henry Baldwin, who met Colonel Moses Byxbe who convinced him of a project that would later become Delaware city. On 7 March 1808, a plat was made on the east side of the river for the city, however on 9 May 1808, the plans changed to the west side instead.[2] A map of this layout is found to the right and is from Browning, 2008.

A few years later, in 1815, the town of Delaware was officially incorporated by the State Legislature. At this point, the population of the county was still fairly small, around 2,000 people when it was formed. But by the time the Civil War came around the population had jumped to nearly 23,000.[2]

Main Street Delaware.jpg

In 1822, Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in the city of Delaware. He then graduated in 1840 from Keynon College and then graduated from Harvard College with honors in law.[2] He then moved to Cincinnati where he practiced law until joining the 23rd Infantry during the Civil War.[2] After the war he was elected to Congress in 1866, and then to the Governor in 1867. A few years later, he would be elected as President of the United States.[2]

Newspapers often are an important connection to the history of a community, and while there are many newspapers in Delaware’s past, the Gazette is stated to be the oldest newspaper in Delaware County, if not the state of Ohio being established in 1819-1820.[2]

Map of Delaware from 1890.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Browning, Dick and Linda Browning. Old Delaware: The Way We Were. [United States]: Delaware County Genealogical Society, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Perrin, William Henry. History of Delaware County and Ohio. Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co., 1880.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Postal Tablet Co. The Postal Tablet Co.’s Delaware Directory, 1890-91-92. Delaware, OH: The Postal Tablet Co., Publishers and Printers, 1890.